Opposition concerned involvement of MPs and councillors in PATH selection process could lead to political victimization

The Opposition People’s National Party says Jamaica cannot afford the risk of political victimization by inserting political representatives in the assessment and allocation of social benefits through the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).

In a St. Catherine Town Hall meeting late last month, Labour Minister, Pearnel Charles Jr noted that Members of Parliament or Councillors would help to determine who received PATH support as part of improvement efforts.

Though the idea raised concern by several residents in attendance, Mr. Charles Jr said the intention was to use all objective methods in identifying needy persons.

Speaking with IRIE FM news today, Opposition Spokesperson on social transformation and social protection, Patricia Duncan Sutherland, argued that PATH, which serves the most vulnerable in the society can be strengthened without Councillors and Members of Parliament acting as intermediaries.

She maintained that social workers are better equipped for the task than political representatives.

Mrs. Duncan Sutherland also noted that path offices should be mandated and resourced to accurately maintain a list of all benefits.

These benefits, she explained, should be shared with representatives so that they can actively refer constituents to the system as partners in the process.


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